Bridal Party Fortune Cookies

I recently got engaged and I really wanted a unique way to ask my closest friends to be in my bridal party. After all, I’ve known all of these girls at least 6 (and one over 10!) years, they have been through a lot with me, and they mean a lot to me – plus I really wanted them all to say yes! So I knew the way I asked them needed to be good and I also knew I had to have something on Pinterest that could help me.

Now, I’m not sure where I got this idea but loooonnng (too long) before I got engaged I had gotten the idea in my head that I would send my potential bridesmaids and maid of honor giant fortune cookies with a fortune that asked them to be in my bridal party! Why did I decide this? I don’t know. Maybe it is my love of fortune cookies or my actual inability to do anything low key or simple when it comes to party planning (and let’s face it – a wedding is just a HUGE party). But since I had this plan in mind, when I finally got engaged I was so excited – this will be so easy, I already have the perfect idea! – I thought to myself. WRONG.

At first, I thought about buying custom giant fortune cookies and letting an expert handle it but not only were they expensive to order, they couldn’t be decorated exactly the way I wanted and of course I had a very specific way that I wanted them to look. So I decided I would make them myself and took to Pinterest and started pinning fortune cookie recipes. I had quite a few fortune cookie recipes pinned. I had this one and a few others that ended up only being photos of fortune cookies and not actual recipes.  I really wanted one specific to giant fortune cookies but couldn’t find anything on Pinterest so I took to the Web and stumbled upon this recipe and since it was the only one that even mentioned an adaptation for a giant fortune cookie I decided to go with it- it sounded simple enough.

I followed the recipe exactly and a few minutes later I had what appeared to be a finished flat fortune cookie. The comparison ends there. It is really difficult to get the batter thin enough on the cookie sheet because the recipe gives no indication regarding how large the circle should be so I kept getting a doughy and hard to fold (that is for the ones I could even get off of the sheet) piece of dough.

The recipe also doesn’t tell you how you should fold the cookie with enough detail. Fold in half and pull the ends down sounds simple right? It’s not.

I had to walk away and think about this for a night. I was so upset that what I had always envisioned was not going to become a reality. The next day I tried again using my grandmother’s idea – rather than using a cookie sheet and trying to get the dough spread out thin enough and in a perfect circle why not use something that is already a perfect circle and large enough that the dough should get at least a little thinner? Genius! So I ditched the cookie sheet and opted for a large cast iron skillet. I still made the batter the same way (I would really like to know why you can’t melt the butter…I left it out for hours so it was super soft and still got butter lumps in every batch) but this time I poured it into a HEAVILY greased skillet and popped it in the oven.

It takes much longer for the big cookie to bake – about 12 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees – but the greasing worked its magic and I was able to easily flip the pan over and the cookie fell right out. Now I had to get the folding down. What the recipe doesn’t tell you? After you fold in half the fold needs to be facing you (so the open ends face away) Should this be obvious if you think about a fortune cookie? Yes. Do you have time to think about what a fortune cookie looks like when your hands are burning and you have less than 5 seconds to get the cookie into shape before it starts to harden? No.

So – for easier folding – on a flat service lay the fortune in the center of the cookie horizontally. Then fold the edge closest to you up and away from you until it meets the other side and press down with a knife (or spoon or whatever) lightly so the edges stick a little. Then, (I had my mom do this part – it was easier with two people) position the handle of whichever utensil you just used in the approximate middle of the fold. Then, with the other person holding the utensil still, you grab both ends and pull them toward you. Have the other person remove the utensil and gently hold the shape you just made until the cookie starts to harden (wear gloves!) Once slightly cool I placed on a baking sheet and used two drinking glasses as “bookends” until the cookie completely hardened.

The next day I melted some vanilla almond bark (for the Maid of Honor’s) and some pink candy melts (for the Bridesmaids’) and poured the chocolate over half of the cookie and topped with white nonpareils sprinkles.

Fortune Cookies 1

I put together some treat boxes, decorated them, and I was done (only 4 days since I had started this process – ha!)

Fortune Cookies 3Fortune Cookie 2

I was happy with the finished product looks wise. In terms of being able to eat the actual cookie some parts could be eaten (mostly the edges) but the centers didn’t get as crispy as an actual fortune cookie so they were chewy – especially by the time I packaged them and shipped them to my girls. But, as I was more concerned with the wow factor of the look of the cookie and the fun of breaking it open, this was fine with me – form over function.

I can’t even make any recommendations as to how to improve this recipe as I just don’t have enough experience with making something like this and don’t think I will ever try again! But, in the end, even with all of the decorative materials and the shipping I still spent less than half of what I would have to have them made by a pro and I got to make them look exactly the way I wanted so I would say it was a success for what I needed them for.

Good thing I only had 4 girls to ask because I never could have handled this for more! But, they must have impressed because they all said yes!

What about you? Have you ever made a crazy favor for a party or a wedding that you wished you hadn’t? Let me know in the comments!

Happy pinning!

Update: I’ve gotten a lot of requests to share what I used for the fortune. Below is what I used to for the bridesmaids’ fortune. The maid of honor’s was different and specific to her. 

You have been there through all the things that matter,

You have been there for the memories, the tears, and the laughter

Though some of you are old (friends) and some of you are new

I couldn’t celebrate this special day without each one of you

So I ask that finally your biggest favor to me be paid

Will you do me the honor of being my maid?

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Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownie Bars

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Every year I try to make my boyfriend (now fiance) a tasty treat for Valentine’s Day. Last year I made him these red velvet cheesecake brownies. They weren’t as fabulous as I had hoped so this year I decided to try these red velvet Oreo truffle brownies that I found on Pinterest instead! I went out last night and bought all of my ingredients so I could start making the treats as soon as I got home from work today so they would be ready for V-Day.

I started baking – I preheated the oven, got out all of my ingredients and started reading step 1. “Combine cake mix, melted butter, eggs, pudding mix, vegetable oil…Wait, what? Pudding mix??” Oops. Somehow when I was reviewing the recipe for the ingredients I had missed this one. I had no pudding mix – I didn’t buy any and we don’t keep it in the house and I was NOT going out to buy some at this stage. Hmmmmm, what to do?

To fix my problem I had to go rogue and go OFF of Pinterest. I googled “brownies from red velvet cake mix” and found this recipe on the Duncan Hines site (shhhhhh…don’t tell them I used a Pillsbury mix!) Success! Well sort of…of course now the entire front end of the recipe I was trying to make was going to be completely different but oh well – you win some, you lose some.

I followed the Duncan Hines recipe exactly except for I didn’t measure the chocolate chips that I added – I just used one half-ish pour right from a bag of mini chips. I was concerned at this stage…I’ve never had a dense brownie mix that didn’t pour out of the pan…and I mean DENSE. But I was this far in so may as well carry on. I popped the “brownies” in the oven and went back to my original recipe.

At this point I was on step 4 – crushing the Oreos. I’ve had to crush Oreos before and I don’t know what it is but the food processor method never works for me. I need to do them in small batches and they never get as crumbly as I want. So I went with the rolling pin and plastic bag method this time (be sure to double bag in case the one the cookies is in breaks!) I pounded away for 5 or so minutes and got my cookies perfectly crumbled. I poured them in the bowl for my stand mixer and added 1 package of neufchatel cheese (I know the recipe says to use actual cream cheese but come on, these are decadent enough, let’s lighten them up at least a little!) and mixed until smooth.

What Your Cookie Mixture Should Look Like

Oreo Mixture

My brownies only took about 30 minutes to cook as opposed to the 40-45 that Duncan Hines suggests in the recipe.

Now all that was left was to assemble the layers. I added the Oreo layer…it is very difficult to spread. I couldn’t even get it out to the edges and it comes out kind of lumpy. I honestly was going to skip the last step of adding the  melted chocolate, throw some chocolate chips on top and call it a day but the naked Oreo layer just looked so ugly I couldn’t even bring myself to photograph it to show you.

So I melted down 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips and 1 cup of semi-sweet together. Why you may ask? Because this is what I had in the house – if you haven’t realized by now I keep things very loosey-goosey-fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants in the kitchen. I poured the chocolate on top, added some more mini chips on top and I was done! Yay!

 re-do2

I can’t really critique the recipe since let’s be honest I barely followed it. I also can’t comment on the taste since I won’t give them to my fiance until tomorrow night. But I will come back and update you all with how it went!

Now go bake some treats to enjoy with your sweetheart or just to pamper yourself this Valentine’s Day!

Happy pinning!

UPDATE: February 14th, 2013

The finished product is amazing! The brownie layer is actually the perfect consistency to hold the other two layers. Its a little denser than your traditional layer but still moist like a brownie and they have great red velvet flavor!

Here’s a pic of them cut…

Red Velvet Oreo Brownie